Canada's cost-of-living crisis is MUCH worse for women than you think

May 25 2023, 2:26 pm

With the rising cost of food and other essentials, many of us have been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, but how badly depends on your gender.

A new report reveals if you identify as a woman or genderqueer in North America, chances are you’re earning far less than your male counterparts.

The survey by the recruitment company Robert Walters Group shows that 40% of women and 44% of genderqueer professionals feel that they’re underpaid. In comparison, only 26% of men said they were unhappy with their salary.

The 2023 poll was completed by more than 6,000 professionals in Canada and the US. It provides insight into barriers women face in the workplace regarding salary negotiations and promotions.

“We need to continue to break down barriers that exist, and organizations must keep their foot on the gas in continuing to hold gender balance at the forefront of their focus and ensure that we don’t go backwards in the journey for equity,” said Coral Bamgboye, head of equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada at Robert Walters Group.

The difference is noticeable when broken down by income bracket.

Robert Walters

Sixty-three percent of employees who earn between US$21,000 to US$75,000 are women compared to just 39% of men in that income bracket. For workers in a higher income bracket, 55% of male respondents said they earn over $75,000, while only 26% of the women make the same amount.

One respondent stated, “Please pay women the same as men doing the same job.”

Women aren’t just less likely to negotiate their salary, they’re also less likely to receive a pay raise after asking for more money.

In the past 12 months, 54% of women said they negotiated a higher salary than 67% of men. However, when it comes to receiving a pay raise, men are twice as likely to receive an increase; 18% of men got a raise compared to just 9% of women. Regarding benefits, 17% more men than women also received bonuses.

Robert Walters

“A key barrier preventing women from negotiating pay is the feeling of embarrassment or lack of confidence,” states the report. “Almost twice the number of women felt this way, with 8% more men reporting that they did not negotiate simply because there wasn’t a need to.”

One respondent said, “I have not negotiated my salary because I fear the response.”

To improve gender equality in the workplace, the Female Executive Search suggests promoting diversity at all levels, recruiting from diverse pools, and creating a more supportive culture.

“Although the evidence is clear that greater gender equality at the top leads to better business results, the reality is that women remain vastly underrepresented in the C-suite,” reads the report. “However, attitudes are shifting, and companies are hiring more women into senior roles, recognizing their immense capabilities and value.”

Irish Mae SilvestreIrish Mae Silvestre

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